Leeds United will resurrect a cult item of kit in honour of the first black professional footballer, who played in the North-East.

The Yorkshire club will wear commemorative socktags in their friendly with Darlington, for whom Arthur Wharton played in 1886.  After the game, the sock tags, which hang over the top of the socks, shall be auctioned and all money raised will go to the Arthur Wharton Foundation.

It will be the first time since 1974 that the club have sported sock-tags, which became fans’ favourites in the Don Revie era of the Seventies.


They were last worn in the championship winning season of 1973-74, shortly before Revie left the club.

But following a plea from Darlington man and creator of the foundation, Shaun Campbell, the club has decided to bring back the sock-tags for one match only.

Mr Campbell said: “For Leeds United to wear these tags shows what integrity professional footballers have for recognising achievements within their own field.”  

Ray Fell, chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Club, said: “It’s good to see them honouring a player like this. I’m sure we will all give him a clap before the game.“

Leeds were the first club to wear sock tags. They used to throw them to the crowd afterwards.

It was a bit of a novelty thing, but it build a relationship between the team and the crowd.”  

Darlington Football Club said it had no plans to commemorate Mr Wharton during the game.

Leader of Darlington Borough Council John Williams has pledged his support to the campaign.

Coun Williams said: “I have had a friendly and cordial meeting with Shaun to discuss this. “I fully support his objective of erecting a statue in tribute to Arthur Wharton at Darlington Football Club and offered my help in attempts to make this happen.”


Comments (3)

  1. fsc

I LOVE it! Didn\'t Birmingham City do this a few years ago too? Any team that does the sock lapel or tag thing gets 10 out of 10 from me.

  1. Woody Reed

tre chic\'

  1. fsc

Differente but very interesting. It´s like having Celtic using those big numbers on both the front and back of the shorts. Great idea.<br />They should use this also the day they return to the EPL (and Leeds really deserve it)

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